Medieval ‘Footprints’ in Digbeth

Local historian, Sarah Hayes, shares some interesting history about Digbeth’s layout in her latest blog:

An impression of what we think the Digbeth plots looked like in the 13th century. © Birmingham Museums

We have a stretch of original medieval land plots in Digbeth, which would have cost you eight pence (or four pence for half a plot) in 13th-century Birmingham. These plots would have been carefully measured out by some of Birmingham’s medieval residents using the town’s very own measuring stick to achieve the intended widths and lengths.

Property boundaries (compared to medieval buildings) surviving probably seems underwhelming, but it is land that gave a townsperson status, allowed them to participate in collective decision-making, and ultimately earn them an income.

What is even more satisfying, is that the forthcoming £150m Beorma Quarter set to transform the area will still retain the existing boundaries in the design of the new development. So it looks like the medieval relics have a long life ahead of them yet!

To read more about this fascinating history, visit Sarah’s blog or follow Sarah on Twitter.

Pamela Pinski

Digbeth and Proud

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